How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig


Ask and you shall receive! I took a poll on Instagram to see how many of y’all would be interested in a blog post about caring for a fiddle leaf fig and I received an overwhelming “YES!”. Many people call fiddle leaf figs “Fickle Leaf Figs” because they are so dang finicky! After much trial and error we have figured out exactly how to care for our fiddle leaf fig, “Horton” (named after “Horton Hears a Who” because of his floppy elephant ear type leaves). My hope is that in sharing these tips and tricks that have worked to keep our fig alive and well, you will be able to apply them in caring for your fig, as well.

A month or two after we got Horton he lost a couple leaves – They turned brown and eventually fell off. It was extremely discouraging as we were caring for him as we were instructed. We learned, every home and fiddle leaf fig is unique. It’s important to figure out, based on how much light your fig is getting, exactly how much water to give it and how often. After adjusting our watering schedule and moving him around a bit – We’ve got it down! Over the past year, Horton has grown tremendously. He continually pushes out new growth and is now taller than me!

Below are a few tips and tricks for caring for your fiddle leaf fig.

  • Hold off repotting your fig until it’s adjusted to it’s new environment. We waited well over a year before we repotted our fig. Fiddle leaf figs like tight fitting pots. After our fig grew and proved to be established we then repotted him. I would suggest holding off repotting your fig until it’s proven to be well-adjusted to its new home.
  • Watering according to light exposure. We give Horton one 16oz bottle of water once a week. Depending on the size of your fig and light exposure, will determine how much water to give your fig. When you see that the soil surface of your fig is dry, stick your finger in the soil. If the top inch of the soil is dry, water it heavily (until water runs out the bottom). The goal is to mimic the natural environment of the fig. If the leaves of your fig are browning and/or falling off, you are not watering it enough.
  • Rotate your fiddle leaf fig a quarter turn each time you water it. Plants tend to grow torwards the light. Rotating your plant with each watering will keep it growing straight. 
  • Fiddle leaf figs need indirect light. In general, fiddle leaf figs like filtered light (think, under a shade tree – type of light). Our fig is in front of a window that faces south. That being said, it gets a lot of filtered light (no direct light). We’ve learned during the winter our fig receives more indirect light than during the summer months. This requires us to water it slightly more often during the winter as it dries out sooner. We also see the most growth in the winter and have learned during the summer, on nice days (with temperatures in the 70s – 80s) if we put our fig outside for a few hours it jumpstarts its growth. All of that to say, if you are getting a fiddle leaf fig to fill a space in your home that does not get much indirect light, consider a faux fiddle leaf fig, like this one from Pottery Barn.
  • Don’t allow your fiddle leaf fig to catch a draft. Our fig is right next to an air vent. We learned, figs do not appreciate the draft. It might seem silly (but it’s worked for us) to close the air vent next to your fig (if there is one).
  • Dust those floppy leaves. Fiddle leaf figs get dusty! On a watering day consider placing your fig in the shower to give it a good rinse! This will clean the leaves and give it a good watering. Wiping the leaves down with a wet cloth will also do the trick!

Optional: Give your fiddle leaf fig a name and a personality! I’m only kidding about this tip – However, it’s worked for us! Brett and I have had the best time talking and joking about our Horton. Giving him a name and personality has made him somewhat of our second pet. 🙂


Horton when we got him (January 2016)!


Horton today (August 2017)!

I hope these tips help you out! If you have any questions or care to share tips and tricks that have well worked for you – Please comment below!

Have a great day, friends!

Jamie

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Becky Bell
    August 1, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Horton is a good lookin’ guy. Hope to get
    one and name it/her Fiona. …seeet Fiona.

    • Reply
      Jamie
      August 1, 2017 at 11:07 am

      You need a Fiona! ?

  • Reply
    MARIA
    August 1, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for the advice, you home has given me such inspiration. I recently moved and love your IG page and blog for motivation.
    If you don’t mind sharing where those beautiful curtains were purchased.

    • Reply
      Jamie
      August 1, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thank you so much, Maria!! Your kind words just made my day! The curtains are from Bed, Bath, and Beyond! ?

      • Reply
        Maria
        August 4, 2017 at 7:27 am

        Thanks
        P.S I’m getting my fiddle this weekend.

  • Reply
    Aubry Tanner
    August 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Where did you get your tree from? And what’s the best time of year to buy one? I want to get one ASAP but also want it to be the right time of year!

    • Reply
      Jamie
      August 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Aubry! We bought our fiddle leaf fig from a local nursery. Also, the best time to buy would be during the growing season (anytime but winter). I went to a nursery last weekend and they had a ton in stock and all of them were thriving! If you’re wanting one ASAP – Now is the perfect time!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Do you know if you can trim down a fiddle?? Once it gets too tall in the house it’s awkward can you cut it back down and it still grow again??

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